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ComputerWorld: The Microsoft Way

Mar 20, 2001, 08:13 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frank Hayes)

"What is it with Microsoft and open source? It's not so complicated. Microsoft hates the competition from open source. Microsoft loves the benefits of open source. Microsoft wants the customers who like open source. Microsoft doesn't want to let any of its intellectual property turn into open source...."

"So what is Microsoft doing now? Letting lots of people eyeball its source code to find bugs - just like open-source developers do - and promising .Net support for Linux, the open-source standard bearer."

"Is it a scam? A trick? Is Microsoft trying to pollute the purity of the open-source movement? Oh, maybe. What's more likely is that Microsoft, having spent its requisite time hissing and spitting at something new, is now proceeding to do "open source" the Microsoft way."

"That means rubbing up against open source just enough to get some benefits but never losing any control of Microsoft's intellectual property. For example, the large customers in Microsoft's "open-source" program will be able to look at some Windows source code, but they're prohibited from making any changes. They can report bugs and figure out work-arounds, but that's it."

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